Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hot Stuff

Most of the time, especially when the weather 'dips' below 65 degrees, I struggle to stay warm.  I can run a race at 30 degrees in shorts and a tee-shirt, but when I'm not active, forget about it.  Today was different.  I had a pot of turkey stock on a rolling boil for at least 5 hours.  The house smelled like Thanksgiving (a smell my home missed this year).  I planned to make turkey noodle soup for dinner with extras for a few lunches and the freezer.
By the time I needed to get dressed for my evening yoga class, I was wearing a short sleeved shirt, jeans and no socks.  I prepared for a cool studio and an even colder blast of outdoor air, but was pleasantly surprised.  The studio was warm, borderline hot.  I immediately regretted my choice in outfit, as I led the class through a series of strong poses.
I got home close to 7 pm with a grumbling belly.  I needed to log my mile, but figured I'd do it after the girls went to bed.  In a matter of 5 minutes, I opted to quick run so I could fill up on turkey noodle soup.  I laced up my shoes and coasted down the stairs.  As a 1/4 mile displayed, I shed my outer layer.  My pants, although not idea, were better than the pair of pajama pants I wore on Friday.  Before hitting 3/4 of a mile, I turned on the fan.  After my mile, I dialed down the speed and walked for about 3 minutes.  I knew that walking upstairs would suck out all my energy as the kitchen level would be a wall of warmth.
Yup.  That's what happened.  I immediately started sweating.  I flung off my shoes and ripped off my wet socks, gross.  I rolled up the legs of my pants, yup, hot and tried to cool off.  But, I, too, was hungry, so I heated up a big bowl of soup to the point of near scalding.  I ate, hovering over the bowl, inhaling the goodness through both my mouth and my nose while sweating profusely.  My physical condition and the temperature of the liquid didn't halt my efforts in devouring my dinner.
The time that passed while putting the girls to bed and packing up the soup leveled me out again.

So here I sit, wearing socks with fuzzy boots, flannel pants and a sweatshirt (oh and a glass of Orchata on the rocks).

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Three's A Charm

Three sentences:
1). I ran 6.5-ish miles with the Crazies this morning, all ninja'd out.
2). The Rangers won their third contest against the Flyers.
3). I'm wrapping up one busy day with a glass of Orchata before hitting the pillow.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Multiple Streaks

I opened my eyes to the sound of my children singing songs in what I thought were the wee hours of the morning.  I checked my phone to see it just shy of 8 am.  Wow.  I slept until 8 am and the kids didn't wake me any earlier.  I'd like to think they were quiet enough to not wake me, but I'm more likely to believe that they got some extra sleep.  After a round of coffee, we zipped over to drop off my car for the break check and went home to get ready for Philly to see the 1 pm Rangers/Flyers game.  We ate shit for lunch, the girls cheered for the Flyers (which was adorable considering their choice in team) and I walked away a happy Ranger fan (Rangers 3 - Flyers 0).

Pregame Family Pic
I picked up my car after the game.  Thankfully, the screeching sound was the result of a rock wedged between the front break and the disc.  The mechanics removed the rock and completed my inspection.  I zipped to the grocery story for a few items.  Dinner consisted of leftover turkey sandwiches.  I got the kids settled with their sandwiches so I could get my mile in.

Outfit: Long sleeve, hooded shirt under a tee shirt paired with lightweight fleece jam pants.

Pre-mile warm up: Whelp, I was going in the basement anyway, so I quickly gathered up the Fall/Thanksgiving decorations and put them away in their bin.  Three trips did the trick.

I immediately started running an 8:55 while cursing the loose waist band and my glasses.  I hate running with glasses.  I tried to hold up my pants with no success.  I placed my glasses on the ledge of the display and increased the speed.  As I reached 1/4 mile, I desperately wanted to rip off my long sleeve shirt.  I sucked it up, increasing the speed.  The faster I'd run, the faster it'd be over.
I ended my mile at a 7:30 pace and took the speed back down to a brisk walk.

Post Mile
Rangers have won 2 out of 2 games against the Flyers.  Will they maintain the streak, like me, by winning tomorrow?  Let's Go Rangers!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give Thanks, Drink Coffee, Go Streaking

Today is day one of my run streak.  I planned to hit the road with a few of the Crazies somewhere between 7 - 7:30 am, a 'late' time for us.  My mini-me stumbled into my room sometime after 6 am hysterically recounting a dream about spiders.  I scooped her up and walked downstairs.  I settled her on the couch with a snuggly blanket before making 'holiday' coffee — sweet with sugar.  The Crazies, two of whom would be running for the first time post marathon, and I opted to meet at 8:15 am for an easy run.  I spent the extra quiet time evaluating a fitness management profile which would help form a training program for a 'potential' client.  I quickly made a grocery list (read: procrastination), got changed (damn, where were my gloves) and trudged through my driveway's snow.  I caught a ride with one Crazy; my car started making an awful sound (think: tines of a metal fork scraping a blackboard), so it was in my best interest to not drive my car.  Following a round of Thanksgiving hugs, the virgins and I sprung into action slightly diverting ourselves from the usual route.  
We talked, we breathed, we cautiously navigated traffic and slushy intersections.  We managed to crank out five easy miles.  After another round of hugs and well-wishes, we parted ways to spend the holiday with our families.  I'm thankful for the time we were able to spend together.  The run, as always, was both physically and emotionally therapeutic.

It's a blessing for us to be together on the run and a blessing for me to come home to my family.

Happy Thanksgiving, Turkeys!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I'm going streaking.
I went streaking a few years ago.
Um, let me clarify -  A RUN STREAK.
In 2011, I participated in a run streak.  The goal was to run one (1) mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year's.  It's just one mile, right?  On days I didn't hit the road to log some miles, I'd shuffle down to my basement to run 1 mile on my dreadmill. I've run miles a number of ways just to get it done — barefoot in my jammies, wearing old sneakers and jeans, wearing a sweatshirt and no pants, half asleep some nights while holding on to the handlebars, engaging in a near sprint to bank that mile just before midnight (I may have passed out on the couch before I made it to the basement), drunk after an indulgent evening...and the list goes continues.  It's really only 1 mile, but some days, it was the longest mile known to man.  

So again, in 2014, I will participate in the run streak, but I'm going to double the streaking: I will publish one blog post to catalog my daily mile.  

Here's what I'm asking of you:
Please follow this blog to share in my journey.  Maybe it'll encourage you to join me, maybe you'll be turned off to never read my crap again.  Either way, I'm making a difference.  :)    

After's only ONE MILE. 

Yes.  We're Going Streaking!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What's Next?

And like that, its over — months of focused training, leading up to a sub-4 hour marathon.  Poof.  Over.
I'm bored.

Well, not really, but you know me - I'll have to find something else to do.  There's a small, yet time sensitive project I'm working on; that'll occupy me for a short while.  I need something physical to do.

I'll go to the gym.
I unofficially decided two weeks leading up to the NYC Marathon that I would spend the winter months lifting.  Don't sweat, all three of you.  I've been down this road twice before.  Years ago I worked with a trainer who focused on building up my chicken legs.  He designed a killer program of leg presses, squats, Romanian deadlifts (my fav) and other exercises.  Every third workout the weight increased.  Although I got stronger and continued to handle the additional weight, I failed to put on any extra muscle.  Even he was shocked at my inability to 'bulk up'.  I'm not looking to pack on 50 lbs. of muscle; however, I'm looking to use the time to create more efficiencies in preparation for next year's races.

Yesterday was day 1.

Studio prepped for 'special' yoga class
I was scheduled to teach a yoga class to a group of professional athletes (! gushing !) at 11 am.  I prepped the room an hour before their arrival and used the extra time to hit the weights.  It's been about 9 months since I lifted; I worked with a great trainer who developed a handful of effective programs, but from that point on my focus shifted to running and yoga.  I had personal goals that didn't involve weights.

The gym was empty except for a creeper guy watching my every move.  I set up shop on a bench closest to the windows.  And then, something amazing happened.  I had no clue what to do.  I had no plan.  I scoped out a set of dumbbells and got to work.  Alas, my trainer walked over, excited that I started to reintroduce strength training to supplement my running.  The first words out of my mouth, "I don't know what I'm doing.  I do plan on picking up these things and then putting them down." He laughed and told me that I was on the right track.  After a few sets of chest presses, squats/press, lunges, single arm rows and, of course, Romanian deadlifts, I wiped off the bench and hit the locker room to get ready for my class.  I absolutely reaped the benefits of demonstrating most of the yoga poses to the group.  Little did I know that, although the weight was low enough, I'd be sore the following morning.

Tomorrow, should be another gym day.  I might pick up more things and put them down again.  Oh, it's going to be a long winter.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Marathon Madness: Chapter 2

The better start to the second part of this story (read part 1 here) would be for me to tell you that I woke before my alarms, refreshed, ready to rock.  In reality, the hotel alarm, set for 6 am by the previous tenant pierced through the room's silence at 5 am (daylight savings, remember?).  Whelp, now we were up.  I laid there for a few messaging my crazies, planning my next move.  To my dismay, the in-room coffee pot only supplied ONE SUGAR PACKET for my hot tea.  I dumped the steaming beverage into the sink having already decided that a trip to the lobby's Starbucks would remedy this situation.  No line and a speedy barista got me back to the room within ten minutes.  I massaged my calves prior to pulling on my compression sleeves.  In between bites of my nut bar swirled in sips of chai tea, I put on another piece of my outfit.  The dressing process was so drawn out, but taking my time helped me remain focused and relaxed.  At 6:30 am, after a giant hug, kiss and well wishes from the hubbs, I walked out the door in my super sexy, yet warm, layers and my items for the bag check.

On my way
I pushed through the lobby's revolving doors onto West Avenue.  I took a deep breath, allowing the cold to settle into my lungs.  I noticed that the temperature didn't seem as cold as what was being reported and the wind certainly didn't whip as much as I was led to believe.  Maybe this wouldn't be a uphill battle.  The streets were virtually empty aside from the occasional pedestrian.  It wasn't until I turned the corner onto Broadway, headed south, that I encountered a developing sea of people all headed towards the Staten Island Ferry.

Manhattan side of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal
At first, I felt like a dork snapping pictures, but I settled into the fact that I just didn't care. Today would be mine.

The terminal held hundreds of runners, and maybe two sorry souls who never ran a mile in their lives.    (not that there's anything wrong with that).  I shuffled over to the far wall parking my butt on the floor .

Keeping to myself, I scanned the crowd making little observations.  The excitement and tension of the upcoming race filled the spaces between people like applying caulk to a window seam.  I just kept breathing.  A petite, blond runner hustled over to the empty spot next to me and plopped down.  Without exchanging introductions, we conversed about the race, our training and our home towns (she was from Texas - traveled alone, but stayed in Manhattan with friends of a friend).  The 7:15 ferry group lined up at five after the hour.  We wished each other well assuming our paths would never cross again.  Years have passed since I hopped the ferry, but I quickly reeducated myself on the nuances of funneling through the slip.  Although there were available seats inside the boat I chose to sit outside on the upper deck for a few reasons: 1). I wanted to acclimate myself to the crisp air.  2). I needed to experience everything awesome about the ride across NY Bay.

Upper Left: Manhattan Skyline; Upper Right: One Excited Girl;
Lower Right: Lady Liberty; Lower Left: Coast Guard Escort
I absorbed the sights for the duration of the trip, again, maintaining my silence.  I still had a long way to go until my start time (Wave 2 - 10:10 am); energy conservation was the top priority.  As the boat approached the Staten Island side, I walked inside towards the exit.  Ten or so minutes later the boat docked and the mob poured into the terminal.

Good thing I'm okay with crowds
Like throwing water onto a Gremlin, the crowd multiplied.  We moved like molasses through the concourse.  The smells of coffee and breakfast pastries filled the air, teasing the runners.  Before long we spilled out on to the streets to wait for our next mode of transportation.

Busses lining Bay Street
Dozens of busses lined Bay Street, warm and ready to take us to the staging area in Fort Wadsworth.  The wind whipped through the crowd sending plastic bags flying.  My nervousness fired up while a shiver shuddered my body.  I tucked my chin into my chest and hugged my hands under my arms to conserve my heat.  Feeling like a cow in line to slaughter, I pressed forward following the runner ahead of me.  I watched my steps up into the bus and found a soft seat near the back.  Before we pulled away from the curb I started to sweat.  The bus got hot with the volume of people crammed in the seats and aisles.  I began to feel uncomfortable, but soon found peace knowing my future would be cold and windy.  As fast as a bus can barrel down a street in a caravan, we cruised down Bay Street.  My eyes glued to the scenery, I scoped the area for the bars in Stapleton I used to frequent in college.  I snapped a few photos, not worth sharing, that triggered a flood of memories.  Can't believe I'm still alive today.

I anticipated a 20 minute bus ride which turned into a near 60 minute crawl.  We finally reached our drop off - a mini-corral surrounded by fencing and officers.  Each bus had their own corral.  I walked up to the next available officer, stood like a star fish for the security wand and had my bag searched.  I was given 'the nod' and followed the crowd.

If all these people jumped off a bridge I'd be right behind them.
Instantly, an overwhelming sensation came over me.  This was it.  I was walking to the start of the NYC Marathon.  The wind picked up, so I walked faster trying to find my way to the Orange Start Village.  Clearly, not following the signage, I found myself waiting in line before 50 or so port-a-potty's located in the Blue Start Village.  I shivered, then realized that I was absolutely in control of my day.  I stood taller, refocused my shallow breathing and stretched my legs.  I reassured myself that the weather was colder and windier before the Tough Mudder.  The icing on this cake?  I wouldn't be getting wet.  And with that thought, everything turned around.  I successfully peed, when my turn was up, without touching ANYTHING.  With purpose, I marched myself over to the Orange Start Village to grab a cup of coffee.

View of Verrazano on the way to the Orange Start Village

Apparently, Dunkin' Donuts was handing out these cute hats.  Two warm hats are better than one, right?  As I approached the Dunkin' area a boisterous voice came over the PA system informing runners that the bag check would close at 9:25.  Holy shit!  It was 9:18.  All of a sudden, the time I had banked earlier in the day disappeared.  I now believe that this lapse in time was divine intervention - I don't EVER drink coffee before a run.  That could have been a grave mistake.  I made it to the UPS bag check (hell of an operation) with 2 minutes to spare.  Handsfree, I had no objective than to walk to my starting corral which would be closing in 5 minutes.

Wave 2 Runners in the Orange Start Village waiting at Corral C
I met two lovely women, again without exchanging introductions.  We gabbed about our hideous layers and the hot topic for the day, the weather.  BANG!  We all jumped for a moment thinking the worst.  I failed to remember that with each wave cannons are fired.  Wave 1 runners and the elite men were off.  Within ten minutes, we'd be going too.

Volunteers removed the gate holding us back at the threshold of Corral C.  I pulled off my lilac pants and threw them goodbye.  The gates opened while I pulled off my equally fashionable sweatshirt and tossed it into the clothing bin.  This was it.  I lined up next to a woman from Manhattan.  Same deal — we chatted like old girlfriends not knowing each other's name.  Oh well.  Must have been nerves.  She prepped me for the next milestones.  We'd be moving to our final staging area (I walked forward),
the national anthem would be sung (an audibly cold woman belted out the tune), and the Wave 2 cannons would fire (BANG!).  We were off and running.

Walking with Corral C to the final staging area
Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" vibrated through my ears as I passed the sound system.  Born ready, I started my watch in synch with my feet crossing the start line.  As I always dreamed, I ran on the upper level of the Verrazano.  To set the tone, I glanced at my watch and made a mental note of my pace.  The wind blew from all sides, ripping off people's hats and fluttering bibs.  I held onto my hat, with alternating hands, praying I wouldn't lose it to Mother Nature.  The climb to the center of the bridge seemed to take forever, but not necessarily in a bad way.  I looked all around me to take in the sights of the other runners, the hovering choppers, the Bay and most importantly, the skyline.  Today would be a great day.  I hoped for a PR (breaking 4 hours), but I knew, as I was often reminded, that NYC — my goal — needed to be enjoyed, not rushed (I had received a text the night before with the following advice: "Make sure you take a minute to enjoy it and not just worry about time.  Once in a lifetime.").  Carry on.

My new found female friend hung with me for a little.  She informed me after the crest of the bridge, that we'd be met shortly by a wall of sound upon entering Brooklyn.  I got excited and then sensed doom.  With all due respect, I had to shake this girl.  I didn't want to chat like a bunch of bitches.  I needed to be alone among 50,000 runners and 1 million spectators.  Soon enough I forgot that thought when we hit the bridge's exit ramp.  Hellllloooo, Brooklyn!!!

I lost chickie at the second water stop.

I believe I had a smile on my face with each step forward.  I enjoyed the crowds and bands, but didn't allow them to get in my head.  I kept focus on my breathing, deep diaphragmatic inhale through the nose for 2 counts and one short, yet forceful exhale through my mouth.  Occasionally, the cheers would distract me throwing off my breath, but I quickly regained control.  I glanced at my watch as I crossed the 10K checkpoint.  Pace good, nice and steady.  At each checkpoint, my thoughts shifted to my crazies, my family, my friends and all the other wackos tracking me on this blustery Sunday morning.  I threw my hands towards the mat before sending them back up in the air.  I envisioned sending them my energy while receiving theirs.

Damn.  We covered a lot of miles in Brooklyn making Queens feel like a blip on the radar.  It wasn't until we crawled across the Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge) into Manhattan that shit got real crazy.  THE.SPECTATORS.WERE.CRAZY.  I read many things about this section of the race - First Avenue.  The near deafening sounds of this 3 1/2 mile slight climb into the Bronx could break a runner.  The excitement of the fans has the potential to distract a runner enough that they pick up their pace just before crashing into a wall.  I pulled back, keeping myself in check.  I glanced at my watch.  Pace steady; I was on target to break four hours.  I began to strategize the rest of the course.  I planned to increase my pace with 10K left, only to kick it up once more for the final 5K.  If I was going to really shoot for this, I didn't want to get by.  I would have liked a few extra minutes to play with.

I felt awesome at mile 20, just over the Willis Avenue Bridge entering the Bronx.  The course rounded a corner occupied by a live band performing Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".  For most people this song doesn't mean much; but it meant the world to me.  I thought of my Dad when I set foot in the Bronx.  He attended Fordham.  I also know him as the biggest Dylan fan.  Everything was aligning.  With a little over 4 miles to go, I reentered Manhattan via the Madison Avenue Bridge.  I broke through that wall of sound while choking back the smell of vomit.  The slight downhill of the road allowed me to see the tops of thousands of bobbing heads in front of me.  The view worried me, as it appeared I had more miles to go.

We ran south on Fifth Avenue, parallel to Central Park for over a mile until we hung a right into the park.  The crowds at least 10 people deep on each side went nuts.  The end was near, but the park felt hilly.  I glanced at my watch.  I successfully maintained a steady pace; I could feel a PR in my future, but I couldn't lose it now.  I picked up the pace pressing on towards the finish.  After mile 25, we exited the park onto Central Park South only to swing around back into the park.  Leading up to mile 26 the edges of the course were lined with international flags.  I noticed the whipping wind waving the flags furiously.  I thought that the remaining point two was uphill but nothing mattered.  I mustered up enough kick to cross the finish line in 3:56:51.  I did it.


For the sake of the audience, I'll refrain from sharing the post finish details like walking a mile to get my checked bag, asking a volunteer to bend down and tie my shoes, or even the story of meeting a guy from D.C. (I actually got his name - Matt) who does long form improv.  I won't share the emotionally torturous 1 mile walk south to meet up with the hubbs at the family reunion area.

What mattered is that I was able to accomplish a six year dream by working hard and getting all the support from you, my biggest fans.  Thank you.

For the record, I loved it all.  And I will do it again.
Oh, and I never did remove the thermal shirt.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mission Marathon

At the end of June, the family traveled to OBX for a lovely week with friends to celebrate life, each other and the beauty of the East coast, my paradise.  Vacation Monday kicked off my marathon training.  My weekly mileage had been at a steady 20-25, so the foundation was already there.  I last trained for a marathon in 2012, missing my personal goal of finishing in under 4 hours.  I struggled with training as I did all my runs solo and split most of those between the dreadmill and the road.  My 20 mile run was half 'mill and half road.  Talk about killer.  This time would be different: I was stronger, I was lighter, I was smarter and I was absolutely healthier.  I had a great support system of just-as-crazy women runners who could join me on most if not all of my runs.  The hubbs understood the level of commitment; he was on board to support me to the fullest.  Everything was staged for success.

On Saturday, October 25th, I logged my last double-digit run.  The following week leading up to race day (Sunday, November 2nd) would be my taper.  Normally, runners dread the taper; I think paranoia can set in along with pre-race jitters.  I welcomed this break by incorporating more yoga and rolling, getting a massage and making creative, yet smart, meals to increase my carb loading.  I don't eat a lot of carbs to begin with in light of my gluten/grain challenges.  I slowly incorporated rice into a few dishes and ate a daily breakfast of quinoa mixed with applesauce, honey and cinnamon.  Delish!  I scheduled vacation days for October 31st and November 3rd.  I needed the Friday before the race to get more organized around my packing (for both myself and the girls who would be spending the weekend at my parents') and the afternoon was peppered with a number of Halloween activities, parades and the eventual Trick-Or-Treat.  
My Favorite Ladybugs
The girls were more than excited to spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa.  They had begun packing five days prior — packing which including all the 'essentials' except for their clothing.  Marcus and I dropped them off mid-morning on the 1st, we grabbed a bite to eat and hopped the bus to New York City.  The ride, uneventful, took us to the Port Authority which was a few short blocks from the race expo.  With so much excitement inside, I walked briskly, with Marcus trailing behind, in the direction of the Javits Center to pick up my race packet.  

Cue the Chills
I took the above picture from the top of a bank of escalators leading to the entrance of the expo.  We entered the center from another angle, thankfully, which allowed us to avoid some of the earlier crowds.  Thank goodness for that.  Before walking across the threshold, I dropped my largely awkward backpack in search of my race registration.  This form, along with my ID would be presented to a lovely woman in return for my bib (number 27657).  I waited in another short line to pick up my shirt.  Done.  I wanted to putz around the expo, but everything was so overwhelming - the people, the merchandise, the buzz - I preferred to go eat lunch instead.  Just as I started to flee for the nearest exit, my eye caught the Runner's World spot.  I needed to stop by for a selfie with Bart.  

Two Cuties
After snapping this beauty, Bart and I briefly talked about the Lehigh Valley as David Wiley (Editor-in-Chief) listened.  David and I exchange introductions (I found it charming that he told me he was the Editor...OF COURSE I knew that) and he gave me a piece of advice that I held onto: "It sounds cliche, but don't go out too fast.  It's easy to do."  Point well taken.  I typically go out too fast.  I hoisted my awkwardly large pack over my shoulders, exchanging pleasantries on my way out.  

To the Five Boroughs

Hubbers and I met my brother Matt at a lovely Thai restaurant for a late lunch.  We spent over an hour eating and chatting.  The brief interruption in the marathon madness helped calm my nerves and relax my body.  Initially, I worried that my cuisine choice could adversely affect my race, but I reminded myself that I don't really have any challenges with digestion as long as I stay away from gluten.  I carried on.  

Following lunch, Marcus and I hailed a cab headed to downtown Manhattan's Marriott.  At check-in, the representative asked me if I was running the marathon.  With smiles, I answered, 'yes, I am!'  He gave me a stern look, took a deep breath and responded with, 'good luck.'  Everyone had been talking about marathon day weather.  Originally the forecast was set to be sunny with a high in the low 50's.  As the day approached, rain was introduced as a factor, until the meteorologists got their acts together and settled on a cold and windy day.  Crap.  Well, I couldn't let this bring me down.  I worked my ass off to get here.  Nothing would stop me.  We settled into the room and prepared to check out the 9/11 memorial, two blocks from our hotel.  The rain seemed to let up for our walk.  I had not been on that block in years - My!  What a beautiful and chilling sight.  

Around the corner from the World Trade Center block, we passed a memorial along side the FDNY Ladder 10 Company 10 house.  The bronze wall covering honors the firefighters "who fell and to those who carry on."  

"Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on."
The names of the fallen FDNY heroes line the bottom of the panel.  I walked slowly, scanning the names for someone recognizable until I found him.  I ran my fingers over the impression of Michael Cammarata.  "While others were running out, you were running in..."  RIP.

South Tower Reflecting Pool

North Tower Reflecting Pool

One World Trade Center
The sounds of the reflecting pools stifled the city rumbles.  We didn't spend a lot of time observing as the nasty weather begin to reappear and, like clockwork, I needed to eat.  I took a deep, cleansing breath and moved on.  Eventually, we made it to the Shake Shack.  In the words of Rachael Ray: Yum-O!  A tasty burger with tasty fries was exactly what my body craved.  We ate our meals in silence while eavesdropping on the ridiculous argument that had erupted between the couple next to us.  Ahhh, New York!  After dinner, we crossed the street to pick up snacks and drinks at a corner store.  The wind and rain forced us to put a little pep in our step.  We were thankful to be in the warm and dry hotel lobby.  
Before taking a hot shower, I unpacked my race gear and lined everything up.  

Race Day Outfit
In the most loving way possible, the hubbs asked me if my morning plan would be to fall flat on the floor before walking out the door.  I took comfort in having everything laid out.  That was one less thing for me to worry about.  I had packed throw away clothes that would be my warm layers pre-race.  I planned to ditch them at the start line.  

Testing out my hideous layers earlier in the week
During my taper week, the hubbs and I ran into Goodwill to scour the racks for throw away layers.  Thank God, I found this hideous sweatshirt (love the collar) that would complement a kid's pair of fleece pants (lilac works well with red).  I planned to zip that collar high; ya know, the forecast called for high winds.  Yay.  The surprise companion to this glamorous get up was a kid's long sleeved thermal shirt with a pattern of delicate flowers.  Surely, I'd be hit on, maybe be fortunate enough to get a few phone numbers. 

Back to the story...
I dried my hair and changed following a near-scalding hot shower.  I did a few stretches before massaging my legs and slipping into my pajamas.  Perhaps, it was for good luck, but I slept in the fabulous thermal shirt.  Maybe I secretly liked the pattern.  Maybe this is foreshadowing.  

I set two alarms, feeling confident that I didn't need a wake-up call on Daylight Savings Time.  My scheduled time for the Staten Island Ferry was at 7:15 am.  My plan was to walk out the door by 6:30 am.  I passed out as my head hit the pillow; I was exhausted.  

I happened to wake up before my alarms went off.